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An underground church simulation on March 23, 2002 at the Forest Hills Baptist Church of Maryville, Tennessee has resulted in one family suing the church for two million US dollars, claiming that it was "a dangerous, cult-like event that was unlawfully and deceptively conceived, sponsored, promoted and supervised by Forest Hill Baptist Church, its pastor, its deacons, its youth director and several of its members." The pastor of the church says the kids and parents were well aware of what was going to happen. In fact, the congregation was reportedly told well ahead of time what the event would entail. Though not involved in the event, a Blount County Sheriff's deputy was on site and no criminal complaint was ever brought against the church before the suit was filed late last week.

The family of the girl suing the church claims that church leaders kidnapped, assaulted and neglected her. She claims in her lawsuit that she was blindfolded, handcuffed, thrown into a van with other teens, and told to deny Christ or she would be shot. She says that when she refused to deny Christ, she heard gunshots before being doused with water. Church leaders, however, deny that anyone was injured in the event and dispute the severity of the treatment that the family claims participants underwent as part of the event. Pastor Harry Sherrer told a local television reporter, "the 30+ young people and adults who participated were really impressed." One Tennessee reporter mused, "Of course, I suppose it's possible that everyone else at the church is lying and this family is telling the truth. I wonder, then, why it took Janie (not the girl's real name) more than year to realize she was so permanently scarred by this event. And I wonder why the attorney representing them happens to have quite the reputation for frivolous lawsuits" (http://www.upforanything.net/archives/cat_from_the_news_desk.html ).

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